“I die so dies the world.”
Ray Bradbury. Among all eras and disciplines there has been a link between beauty and death as long as one may be used to signify the other. As in the Dutch Vanitas paintings, where beautiful objects around a skull, warned us that it is useless to be distracted in the banalities of life before the imminence of death. Arthur Danto mentioned that beauty was perceived as “the world that delays the accomplishment of higher goals”; therefore its abuse in the arts obliged to make a pause in order to be represented.
In our days that seem to be what Guy Debord foresaw in 1967 as “a world which really is topsy-turvy, where the true is a moment of the false.” the banal beauty seems essential to bare the ambiguous promise of an after-dead life. Danto and Debord may agree that beauty and banality are relative concepts existing on each spectator’s perception only. In Almanaque’s spring 2017 exhibition, Tania Franco-Klein y Dorine Potel perform a mise-en-scene dangling from a sort of a life Vanita inside our memory: fashion editorials, advertisements, cult-cinema or ballet and their adaptations.
Franco-Klein is at the same time the observer and the observed, while the props constructed by Potel are presented as a fortunate object-trouvé. And in both cases, the characters strangely known at some déjà-vu performed with artificial naturality. An imaginary abundant in symbols that perhaps was knitted with a tailor-made beauty for each spectator.
Mexico City. May, 2017